Our featured business owner Claudia’s tells her story about how the lack of healthy, preservative/additive free and allergy friendly snacks inspired her to create her very own organic oat cluster business, Zero Bites.
Tell us a little about yourself!
I am a mum of a boy and 2 girls – aged from 18 to 8! My eldest finished school last year (OMG) and is undertaking a uni degree. My 15 year old daughter is a swimmer and trains in the pool up to 8 times a week, and my youngest keeps me young and inspires me to be a better mum!
I am a total homebody at heart (favourite night in is a good movie); am sensitive, an introvert, prefer small crowds and meaningful connections with friends; love someone with a sense of humour to have a good laugh with and value a kind heart and honesty.
Tell us about your biz
My youngest daughter was diagnosed with food allergies and intolerances from a young age. She followed an extremely restricted diet for almost two years and when we tried to normalise her diet, she reacted to the food we gave her. After she experienced an anaphylactic attack we re-examined our food choices, ripped apart our pantry, and binned anything with a number as an ingredient (additive/preservative). I remember being frustrated by the lack of ready made snacks; everything was highly processed, had a number or contained high sodium/sugar. I spent hours each week cooking meals and baking my own on the go snacks.
Eventually this led to the creation of Zero Bites organic oat clusters (my husband encouraged me and said ‘how hard could it be’ and now we look back and laugh at this as it has been a challenging path). We wanted to make our snacks accessible to others, recognising that not everyone has the time or inspiration to whip up homemade snacks. It was important for us to ensure our product had integrity and aligned with our values. We pursued organic and kosher certifications, knowing that we needed to meet strict and ethical standards in the production of our product.
What I love about it most is, it resembles a homemade snack, you can actually see the ingredients and have peace of mind knowing what you are eating!
What’s your non-negotiable eco or health wise?
Numbers (aka preservatives, additives) of course. I read every label (have trained my kids to be label detectives) and if there’s a number on it, I don’t buy it. I also try to buy minimally processed food wherever possible and I challenge myself to cook as much food for scratch as possible. It feels great knowing where your food comes from and nourishing growing bodies with real ingredients! Most importantly I have educated my kids and they understand what real food and nourishment looks like.
What’s your favourite everyday eco product?
A couple of years ago I converted my pantry into glass jars, replacing old Tupperware and containers. I am a little obsessed with collecting jars and recycling from products for re-use (why do they make it so hard to remove the labels?) Also collected a few bento boxes for snacks and lunch on the go which make life so much easier.
Go to snack?
I enjoy crackers with avocado or Vegemite; handful of almonds; fruit with seeds and oat clusters sprinkled on top and smoothies for a quick refuel!
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
How to create a dedicated green patch to grow and harvest my own organic fruit and veggies. Plus get more creative and make my own pottery to serve up my cooking creations!
If you won unlimited access to a service for a year to make your life easier / less stressful what would you choose?
That’s an easy one – a cleaning lady for sure (plus helping with the laundry!)
What was the last book you read?
About to start re-reading Chapter 1 by Daniel Flynn (Thankyou Australia) – such an inspiring read plenty of valuable and tangible lessons to absorb and apply into the business.
What do you do to relax?
I love the idea of having no set plans and seeing where the day takes me – often I will try and get active outside, my favourite place is going out for a walk by the beach with a friend to mentally download with one another and grab a fresh perspective – a perfect afternoon!
What does the future of Zero Bites look like?
I would love to expand our brand with new products, continue to educate and hopefully one day become a household name for organic wholesome kids’ snacks!